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Pioneering space company chooses materials research supplier


Burlington, MA – Netzsch Instruments says Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has named  it as sole supplier of the high-temperature thermal analysis instruments the space designer and manufacturer uses to characterize material properties for space applications. The instruments will be used to fine-tune properties of existing materials and to develop new materials for use in the demanding, harsh environments of space. The company says Netzsch’s ability to custom engineer and modify the instruments to meet its requirements was a key factor in their choice of vendors.

“The reason we choose Netzsch instruments is the top-notch quality of its high temperature thermal analysis capability, ” says Wenhong Fan, senior materials engineer with SpaceX.

“The other reason is outstanding customer service,” adds Jeremy Thornton, SpaceX materials engineer.

SpaceX, which was founded in 2002, is transforming the way rockets and spacecraft are made. It is the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, and the first to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station — a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. In October 2012, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft again successfully delivered cargo to and from the space station, in its first official cargo resupply mission for NASA.

Mission critical material will be developed, tested and modeled using data from Netzsch’s Thermokinetics software. Netzsch instruments will be used to measure basic material properties along with other thermophysical properties. Some of these properties will include 1st, 2nd and 3rd order transitions, coefficient of thermal expansion and contraction, modulus, energy adsorption dampening, heat capacity, thermal diffusivity, thermal conductivity along with software and heat transfer data to model and build heat management systems.